The Praying Mantis Widow’s Revenge

Project Vanessiannie

Fiction - Horror
265 Pages
Reviewed on 07/29/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography


My name is Brian Ellis; I am a teacher.

My inspiration came from my near-death experience with the initial covid infection and my unpublished novella: Tiffany: Project Vanessiannie.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite

A woman wakes up between dead bodies and realizes she must be at sea on a ship. She does not know who she is and cannot remember anything. She found a CD named Calla and has a feeling it is of importance. She escaped from the ship on a boat she found. A helicopter follows her and fires missiles at her as she runs toward a hill and hides in a cave. Two men followed her into the cave, and she asked them to leave. She is experiencing something strange and cannot control it. Morgan follows Belladonna’s orders and captures Calla, to leave her in a temple and seal it. Calla heard a voice from a coffin saying that she can help her escape and get her memories back. This is where Calla's journey begins in The Praying Mantis Widow’s Revenge: Project Vanessiannie by Brian Ellis.

The Praying Mantis Widow’s Revenge: Project Vanessiannie by Brian Ellis has an interesting and unique plot. This is an action-packed story that kept me guessing and engaged from the beginning until the end. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, turning pages to see what would happen next. The story is fast-paced, and a few subplots flowed into each other. There were so many twists and turns that I never knew what to expect next. The characters were well-developed and unique in their own way. They were described in such a way I felt like I knew them. The story is well-written and interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I was surprised by the ending; it was unexpected and exciting.

Pikasho Deka

The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge is an action-packed horror thriller by Brian Ellis. The book begins with a woman waking up on an abandoned ship full of dead bodies, devoid of any memories of who she is and how she ended up there. Eventually, she finds a CD and a USB drive from which she learns her name is Calla. Plagued by hallucinations, Calla somehow manages to land on a nearby island, only to be attacked by armed men determined to kill her. To her surprise, she defeats all of them by mercilessly killing them. Slowly, Calla begins to recover her memories. However, her troubles are far from over because the more she delves into her past, the bloodier her current circumstances become. Additionally, an old friend turned foe is hell-bent on making her life a living hell. How will Calla cope?

If you love sci-fi stories featuring human experiments gone wrong, The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge is the perfect book for you. Full of swashbuckling action sequences and unexpected reveals you never see coming, author Brian Ellis's slasher horror caper is a fast-paced, adrenaline-filled ride that provides entertainment galore. From the first page onward, you get the feeling that you're in for something wild, and, as you read further, that feeling solidifies. Calla is an intriguing protagonist whose inner conflicts and struggles keep the reader invested in her story. Ellis never shies away from the violence and describes the action scenes in vivid detail. Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it to fans of slasher horror stories.

Astrid Iustulin

The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge by Brian Ellis begins when a woman awakens surrounded by dead bodies. She does not know them or what killed them and does not even remember her name. However, she soon realizes she is on a ship and, after finding a CD, she discovers that her name is Calla. But how did she get on that ship? Calla manages to get to an island, only to become the target of Morgan's soldiers, sent there by a woman called Lady Anne. Lady Anne is Calla's former colleague and hates her because she destroyed her Project Vanessiannie and had an affair with her husband. How will Calla's adventure turn out?

The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge is a book that I liked because it is full of twists and turns. Many things happen from the moment Calla wakes up on the ship with the dead bodies, so I have to say this book is not for the faint of heart. Brian Ellis told the story of Calla, Lady Anne, her assistant Belladonna, and all the other unforgettable characters very well. In particular, I liked that he does not linger on long descriptions and gets straight to the point, thus making the book compelling and never dull. The dynamics between Calla, Lady Anne, and Belladonna are interesting to read and discover, and I think each of them is remarkable in her own way. I recommend The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge to readers who love stories full of unpredictable events.

Essien Asian

In the latest work of fiction by Brian Ellis, a woman wakes up aboard a boat far from land. She has no memories whatsoever and cannot proffer a rational reason as to how she ended up on that boat at that particular time. To compound matters, the boat is littered with corpses that she has no recollection of ever meeting. All she can go on is a scrap of paper with the words "VANNESSIANNIE" written on it. If this does not make any sense, then the spectral image she keeps seeing, calling her a witch, only serves to make her repeatedly question her sanity. Will she find the answers she seeks before she joins the other crew members as a lifeless body? Time is running out. The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge beckons.

The Praying Mantis Widow's Revenge by Brian Ellis is a part science-fiction, part paranormal novel. The opening sequence from the first chapter piqued my curiosity and sucked me in as I tried to figure out exactly how the primary character got on that boat. There are clues scattered around the story but it takes an attentive reader to put them together. There are sections of the plot that feel somewhat confusing, seeing as I had to go over some chapters more than once. The background on the peripheral characters is sparse but the attention to detail given to the primary character and the successful aura of mystery Brian Ellis is able to weave with his style of storytelling more than make up for any shortcomings. It's a fascinating piece of work.

Curious Kay

The overview already sounds intriguing and action-packed. I love a good mystery and this book looks like it promises that and more. I can’t wait to dive in.